AT&T announced a new program today that will help California customers minimize a major source of water waste: leaks.
Customers that sign up for AT&T Digital Life and add a Water Detection Package will receive alerts on their mobile devices when a sensor detects the presence of water in a designated area in their home. In addition, the AT&T Digital Life Water Control service not only detects water leaks, but allows users to shut off the water source remotely from their mobile phone or tablet.
AT&T is incentivizing the purchase of these packages by offering customers bill credits for 6 months ranging from $5-10. Based on customer purchases, the telecommunications company will donate money to support California water-conservation efforts. For each new purchase of a Digital Life product, AT&T will give $10 to The Nature Conservancy for projects such as “Save the Sierra Nevada: Save our Water,” which protects and restores the forests of the Sierras to increase and improve the quality of the state’s water supply. The company has committed to a minimum contribution of $50,000 and a maximum of $100,000.
Household water leaks are a significant source of water waste. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, household water leaks can waste more than a trillion gallons of water annually — equal to the yearly household water use of 11 million homes. A single household's leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted annually.
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“Water is a vital natural resource and using it wisely is important not only to our business, but to our community, our environment and California’s economy,” said Ken McNeely, President of AT&T California. “AT&T is doing our part to help conserve water through our business operations, our products and services, and by contributing to The Nature Conservancy for investment in water projects to protect the Northern Sierra Nevada.”
In 2012, AT&T teamed up with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and engaged in a series of pilot projects to evaluate water efficiency opportunities. As a result of those pilots, the company found potential savings of 14-40 percent by implementing new technologies and using free air cooling. In order to scale savings, AT&T created a toolkit that could save 28 billion gallons of water if adopted by U.S. companies. According to their latest CSR report, the company have seen an overall annualized water savings of 236 million gallons, 72 million of which is directly attributable to conservation and free-air cooling projects since the beginning of 2013.
AT&T is the latest in a string of companies taking action to control water use and mitigate California’s drought with innovative partnerships. Anheuser Busch’s Shock Top recently announced a partnership with Indiegogo to fund and distribute water-saving innovations. Costco is partnering with a technology startup to develop innovative water conservation and management technologies. And large companies including Stella Artois, Waste Management, the National Hockey League and WhiteWave Foods are demonstrating the power of consumer-facing water sustainability campaigns.